Sunday, November 09, 2008

Limbaugh tricks people into voting against their interests

A few days ago someone mentioned to me that his relatives in South Carolina feared an Obama presidency because they think that Democrats are going to seize their 401(k) retirement plans. I shook my head in dismay, knowing that those persons had been bamboozled by the Republican Noise Machine.

Today I see that Rush Limbaugh is the culprit.

The LAT ... offers this fact-check

In a time when the nation calls out for cool leadership and rational discussion, Limbaugh stirs the caldron, a tendency he proved in a particularly grotesque way last week when he accused Obama’s party of plotting a government takeover of 401(k) retirement plans.

“They’re going to take your 401(k), put it in the Social Security trust fund, whatever the hell that is,” Limbaugh woofed. “Trust fund, my rear end.”

A slight problem with Limbaugh’s report: Obama and the Democrats have proposed no such thing.

The proposal, in fact, emanated from a single economist, one of many experts testifying to a congressional committee.
The Times article also notes Hannity's efforts to misinform his audience

Hannity and Limbaugh filleted Obama's selection as chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, in a way that exposed their partisan gamesmanship.

Mainstream newspapers have filed plenty of unflinching accounts of Emanuel's tough, occasionally ruthless tactics as a Democratic congressional leader and onetime operative in the Clinton White House. That assessment of bare-knuckle partisanship Hannity seized on. But it wouldn't do to report another aspect of Emanuel's record -- his Clintonesque bent for the political center.

So the Fox-man simply created a new persona for Emanuel as, you guessed it, "one of the hardest left-wing radicals on the left."
See, my disdain for Hannity and Limbaugh is not that Hannity and Limbaugh hold views I find repellent (which they do), so much as that they are relentless purveyors of lies and bullshit. What irritates me to no end is that they constantly tell their audience they are providing them with the truth that the "liberal media" won't provide them with, while in fact they are providing them with ignorance and ideological stupidity.

Update: Speaking of the Republican Noise Machine and disinformation, anti-ACLU idiocy from Bill O'Reilly and the Barbie O'Reilly (also see here).

In case the audience didn’t get it the first and second time (repetition is very important in propaganda), O’Reilly repeated, for the third time, “all right. Let's get this. Let's get this. So we want to say, there's no ACLU in Ohio helping Joe the plumber.”

Comment: If Bill and Jesse had bothered to check the Ohio ACLU website, they would have found several articles addressing this issue. On November 3rd, there was a piece entitled “Joe the Plumber” records search highlights the need for clear policy on use of personal information in government databases." On October 31st, the Executive Director of the Ohio ACLU issued a press statement which was entitled “Government snoops have no right to pry into newsmakers' personal information.” Christine Link begins the article by stating that “I was deeply disturbed to hear that state officials approved the use of government databases to obtain information about Joseph Wurzelbacher, also known as "Joe the Plumber.” It does not appear the “Joe” has filed any lawsuits and until such time, the ACLU would not be directly involved. But, clearly, they have articulated a concern that was ignored by Fox News which is only interested smearing those on the enemies list - and the ACLU is a favorite target. But when the intent is to smear, propaganda is more important than fact.
Since O'Reilly has written several books about how he's a "traditional" American who roots his American-ness in conservative Christianity, perhaps he should take note that by his own standards he is behaving in an anti-American fashion when he bears false witness against his "S-P" enemies.

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